Young ducks can jump

To: Laurie Knight <>
Subject: Young ducks can jump
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:00:23 +1100
I think that you will find that the only birds that can jump to the extent that 
you are talking about, are the young of precocial species and then only when 
they are very young. Older young of precocial species run into a sort of 
diminishing returns situation, where, as their mass grows, the degree of 
musculature required to lift their bodies increases and the more muscle they 
produce, the higher their mass etc etc. Certainly, some birds can jump with the 
assistance of their wings, such as in Bustards, Cranes and Sage Grouse etc. in 
display, but that is not from a standing start.

After all, why jump when you can fly.


Carl Clifford

> On 21 Dec 2013, at 21:55, Laurie Knight <> wrote:
> Perhaps.  I'm sure people could jump equivalent heights if they were 
> structured for jumping like grasshoppers.
> My question remains.  What other birds have a noticeable capacity to jump up?
> Regards, Laurie
>> On 21/12/2013, at 11:03 AM, Paul Osborn wrote:
>> Laurie,
>> Young ducks only weigh a few grams, so the effort needed to lift them 30cm 
>> is nowhere near what a person would need to jump an equivalent height.
>> Paul Osborn
>> -----Original Message----- From: Laurie Knight
>> Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 6:03 PM
>> To: Birding Aus
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Young ducks can jump
>> As I was wandering through the Roma Street Parklands (close to the
>> Brisbane CBD) I came across a family of Pacific Black Ducks in an
>> artificial rainforest gully - there is a concrete cascade with a 30 cm
>> vertical jump ups.  There were some week old ducklings in the cascade
>> section.   One was at the bottom, while its siblings were in the upper
>> section.  From a standing start, the duckling leapt up the 30 cm to
>> the next level.
>> Leaping up is not an activity you see often from birds.  Flying yes.
>> Walking yes.  Running yes.  Jumping down yes.  Leaping up?  I've seen
>> footage of penguins "jumping" out of the water onto the ice (from a
>> swimming start), and I've seen ducks hopping out of the water, but
>> I've never seen a bird jump up three times its body length.
>> I doubt there would be many people who could jump onto a ledge above
>> their body height and land on their feet from a standing start without
>> using their hands.  (The people who jump up more than their height
>> have a run up and they don't land on their feet.  People who jump
>> three times their height are using a long pole to lever themselves up).
>> Are there any birds that have a noticeable capacity to jump up?
>> Regards, Laurie.

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